Manchester United may be the next stop for Luis Suarez, the talented but troubled Uruguay striker, transfer rumors surfacing on Thursday say. Suarez, who completed a nine-game ban for his World Cup neck-biting incident, came to Barcelona F.C. from Liverpool only last summer, in a $128 million move.
But with the storied La Liga powerhouse club now in turmoil, and Suarez struggling to meet expectations with just three goals in the 12 games he has played for Barcelona, officials at the Camp Nou may now be willing to cut their losses and send Suarez packing back to England.
If the Suarez transfer move happens, it would be reminiscent of Barcelona’s handling of Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahinovic, who came to the Camp Nou from Inter Milan in 2009 for $75 million, only to be shipped off to Atletico Madrid after a single season.
With once-mighty Barcelona struggling — by their standards — this season, sitting tied for second place at 38 points after 17 games, and having lost three games already, club President Josep Maria Bartomeu signaled big changes in the upper management of the club by announcing this week that he would call early elections for a new president.
The move follows Bartomeu’s firing of Barcelona Football Director Andoni Zubizarreta, the man responsible for bringing Suarez to the Camp Nou, and the subsequent resignation of Carles Puyol, Zubizarreta’s assistant.
Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique is also believed to be teetering on the brink of losing his job, after clashing with mega-star Lionel Messi, who is rumored to be eyeing an exit from the only club team he has ever known.
With his controversial background and lack of production in a Barcelona shirt, Suarez is believed to be in a position to serve as a convenient scapegoat for the team’s troubles so far. Of his three goals, only one has come in La Liga play, with the other two netted in Champions League action.
According to reports in the British press, Manchester United are now “monitoring” the Suarez situation in Barcelona and are ready to pounce as soon as the Uruguay international becomes available.
But Barcelona has not yet sent out signals that it is willing to part with Luis Suarez quite yet. Arsenal — as well as Chelsea and Manchester City — are keeping an eye on Suarez as well, according to the rumors.
In other Manchester United transfer rumors, Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea is reportedly eyeing a return to his native country, where he could and at Real Madrid. Manchester United Manager Louis Van Gaal would then, the rumors say, make a move for Netherlands keeper Tim Krul — and are close to signing former Barcelona goalie Victor Valdes as a potential Krul backup.